Indiana Businesses & Supporters: Protections for Transgender Hoosiers are Non-Negotiable

By Adam Polaski • January 7, 2016 • 12:45 pm

This week lawmakers in Indiana introduced a new bill, S.B. 344, offering it as a so-called alternative to S.B. 100, a separate bill that has been introduced following statewide calls for legislation extending non-discrimination protections to all LGBT Hoosiers.

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The new legislation does not include any non-discrimination protections for transgender people in Indiana – making the bill simply unacceptable.

This morning Indiana Competes, the coalition of hundreds of Indiana businesses calling for LGBT non-discrimination protections, released this statement on S.B. 344:

“Indiana businesses are sending an overwhelming message that explicit protections from discrimination for all Hoosiers are essential to growing our state’s economy and keeping us competitive on a global scale.  We have, and will continue to engage in productive conversations with lawmakers about the importance of these non-discrimination policies. Removing protections for any class of people in the effort to update our state’s non-discrimination law undercuts our work to keep Indiana an attractive place to do business. We will continue to work with our partners in the Senate to achieve a bill that fully protects all Hoosiers.”

Freedom Indiana, the grassroots coalition of Hoosiers who know it’s time for LGBT non-discrimination protections, called the bill a “non-starter that offers zero protections for transgender people in Indiana.” The coalition said:

“Both SB344 and SB100 represent complicated attempts to cure a problem that requires a very simple solution. Gay and transgender people should not be subjected to legal discrimination in our state. The civil rights law should be updated to reflect that commitment and make it clear that we are an open, welcoming place to live, work and play. The more lawmakers try to dance around the need for real, clear LGBT protections, the more it looks like they want a way to maintain the status quo: a state where you can be fired, denied housing or turned away from public places because of who you are or whom you love.”

Also pending before the Legislature is S.B. 100, the bill lawmakers have introduced and made clear that non-discrimination protections are a clear priority this year in Indiana. S.B. 100 does cover both sexual orientation and gender identity – but there remain many grave aspects of the bill that need clear improvement before the bill can successfully address the widespread discrimination that LGBT people in Indiana face each day.

Learn more about non-discrimination in Indiana here.


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